Saturday, 21 June 2014

Ten Ways To Bring Music Into The Classroom

I'm a huge advocate for bringing music and the arts into the classroom wherever possible. I think there is a significant benefit to students as well as making the classroom a more welcoming and enjoyable space. My personal favourite is to have classical music playing quietly in the background. Students respond differently to music. One year playing music in the morning might be a great way to welcome students and get them excited for the day, while with a different group of students it could wire them up and be a distraction. Teachers know their students and what works for them. Here is a list of ten ways you can bring music into your classroom:

1. Atmosphere: Play classical music during quiet reading time or seat work.
2. Discover: Feature a different genre or style of music each week for students. Incorporate writing practice by having them write a listening review.
3. Remember: Have students create songs to remember definitions, acronyms, or order of operations.
4. Dance: Use music to have a minute or two of activity as a brain break to get the wiggles out of antsy students.
5. Explore: Bring music into the history or geography classroom by playing musical selections from a particular time period or location.
6. Think: Play different styles of music and have students write about which emotions they associate with each.
7. Motivate: have a selection of inspirational music clips on hand. Play them when students are handing in work. The right soundtrack can make handing in a simple quiz feel like finishing a marathon.
8. Stimulate: have some upbeat music playing when students enter the classroom on a sleepy rainy morning to wake them up and get them ready for a fun day of learning.
9. Attention: use rhythmic clapping beats or call and response songs to get students attention and bring them to active listening prior to making an announcement or giving directions.
10. Create: encourage students to bring music into their own work. Whether it be a drama performance, presentation, or study group, music can be a great addition to many projects.

This list is also available in info graphic format in my TpT store. Download it for free here

How do you use music in your classroom? Do you notice a difference in your students? Let me know in the comments below or send me an email at 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Back To Ancient Egypt?

Ancient civilizations have always been one of my favourite topics. Generally students are interested in learning about them, but as with any topic it can be difficult to maintain student interest and engagement throughout a unit. My solution? Time Travel. 

If only it were possible to actually take students back in time on a field trip to ancient Egypt, I daresay there would be no daydreamers or nap takers then. But in reality teachers have to do their best to bring history to the classroom. Recently I created a Daily Life In Ancient Egypt: A Time Travel Unit Study to meet this need for supplemental materials and a fun and engaging framework for an ancient Egypt unit.

This unit provides a general overview of daily life in ancient Egypt in an engaging way that presents the information as a fun narrative. Students are transported back in time to ancient Egypt and produce a hands-on notebook with interactive components. They follow the diary entries of archeologist 'Dr. Helena Carter', creating crafts, foldable items, and other activities for each entry and topic. The diary portion is optional and the activities can also be used as stand alone items. This allows teachers to pick and choose for differentiation. It is perfect to use as a supplement with resource books and videos each day.

Here are a few examples of the types of activities included in the unit:

Create your own weseka necklace. Accompanied by an entry about ancient Egyptian clothing, appearance, and jewellery. 

Stages of Mummification foldable pyramid.

Scarab craft- accompanied by a foldable information sheet about the symbolism of the scarab. In the diary narrative a mysterious shiny scarab is also our time-travel device.

I'm going to be giving away this product to two readers. Enter using the rafflecopter below. Everybody likes a nice surprise on a Monday so the draw will end at 9:00 am on the 23rd. 
I would love to hear from you. What tips and tricks do you use to make ancient civilizations come to life? Let me know in the comments below or email me at